News

Law & the Courts

Michael Cohen Expected to Part with Attorneys and Cooperate with Mueller

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, April 16, 2018. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Michael Cohen is expected to begin cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as the attorneys currently representing him plan to leave the case in the coming days, ABC News reported Wednesday.

The law firm McDermott, Will & Emery LLP will stop providing its services to Cohen after it finishes reviewing documents seized from his home and office to determine which are subject to attorney–client privilege, according to the report.

After Cohen’s team asked U.S. District Court judge Kimba Wood permission to review the 3.7 million documents seized in the April 9 raid before the government’s attorneys, Wood agreed, and appointed former federal judge Barbara Jones to serve as a “special master” to settle any disputes between Cohen’s team and the government over what documents should be privileged.

Jones announced last week that just 162 of the 300,000 seized documents that Cohen’s team has reviewed so far are covered by attorney–client privilege. The attorneys have until Friday to complete their review of the remaining documents, and any documents not reviewed at that point will be turned over to federal prosecutors, who will then determine which of them are privileged.

Cohen’s expected cooperation, prompted by his lack of representation, is a troubling development for the Trump administration and Trump himself.

“It’s an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on all we stand for,” Trump said during a meeting with senior military leadership at the White House following the raids. “That is really now on a whole new level of unfairness.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is investigating Cohen over a range of financial crimes including potential bank fraud and campaign-finance violations stemming from his $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, castigated Cohen’s representation in a tweet sent after the Wednesday morning report.

“So after Mr. Ryan makes false accusations against me in fed court, he now abandons Mr. Cohen, withdraws, tucks his tail between his legs, & goes home? Just like David Schwartz before him!! Not a good look and a disaster for Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump,” he tweeted.

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular

U.S.

Yes, Hillary Should Have Been Prosecuted

I know this is ancient history, but — I’m sorry — I just can’t let it go. When historians write the definitive, sordid histories of the 2016 election, the FBI, Hillary, emails, Russia, and Trump, there has to be a collection of chapters making the case that Hillary should have faced a jury ... Read More
Culture

Staying on the Path

Dear Reader (Including those of you who are no longer my personal lawyer), Almost 20 years ago, I wrote in this space that the movie A Simple Plan was one of the most conservative movies of the 1990s. In case you haven’t seen it, the plot is pretty straightforward, almost clichéd. It focuses on three men ... Read More
Sports

Let the World Have Soccer

The United States of America did not qualify for the World Cup this year. Good for us. Soccer is corrupt, hyper-regulated, impoverished by a socialist-style fondness for rationing, and organized to strangle human flourishing. It is so dependent on the whims of referees that is in effect a helpless captive of the ... Read More
Immigration

Child Separation at the Border

If you want to read a thoughtful and constructive explanation and partial defense of the policies being implemented by the White House, you should read this piece by Rich Lowry. If you want to read a trollish and counter-productive screed fit for a comment section, read the White House’s official press ... Read More